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Do you just want to soak up the sun on your next trip to Southern California? Well you’ll need some space to call your own so big sandy beaches are probably the best. It’s a bonus to have restaurants and other services nearby for taking a break from sunbathing. Finding the right beach is key to relaxing on vacation.

The beaches of Malibu are some of the best for sun as most face south to maximize exposure, but many beaches on the Malibu shore are narrow or all wet at high tide. Check California tide charts before heading to the beach there.

Venice Beach has space for many beach towels and umbrellas

Other beaches like those on Santa Monica Bay and in Orange County have a southwestern exposure for excellent afternoon sunning. Coronado Beach near San Diego is one of the best in SoCal with lots of space, a southern exposure, and calm cool waters for wading on long beach walks. Many other beaches near Los Angeles and San Diego, and in Orange County are tops for sun worshipers. Here are the best sunbathing beaches in Southern California!